It Depends

There are many questions asked about the viva to which a response has to begin with, “It depends…”

  • Is it best to have an expert in my research area for an examiner? – It depends on what you think about the situation, what your supervisor advises and whether someone is available.
  • When should I start preparing for my viva? – It depends on how busy you are, how big your thesis is and how you want to approach things. There’s general advice but you have to tailor things to your situation.
  • Should I have a mock viva? – It depends on your relationship with your supervisor, your schedule and how you want to prepare.
  • Will I have an independent chair at my viva? – It depends on the regulations for your institution, and perhaps on who your examiners are.

And the list goes on.

There is lots of advice and good practice related to the viva. There are many general expectations. But so much depends on the candidate, their research, their thesis and their life.

When you ask for viva advice or look for help, think about how things change when it connects to your situation.